Background The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) Surgical Risk Calculator was developed to help counsel patients regarding estimated postoperative risk for a variety of surgical complications. This retrospective single institutional study examined the calculator's ability to accurately predict complications and length of hospital stay (LOS) in patients who had undergone a Pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) at our institution. Methods 165 patients at Washington University School of Medicine who underwent a PD from 8/2011 to 7/2013 were included. Surgical complication risk as determined by the ACS-NSQIP Surgical Risk Calculator were compared to actual 30 day complications. PD complications not accounted for by the calculator were compared to those without PD-specific complications. Results Overall predicted LOS was significantly shorter than actual duration of hospitalization (median 8.5 vs. 8.0 days; p < 0.001). 38% patients (n = 62) with Whipple-specific complication demonstrated a significant increase in LOS (8.0 vs. 12.2 days; p < 0.0001). Discussion A large proportion of complications experienced after PD are pancreas-specific, accounting for the difference in predicted vs. actual LOS and providing rationale for future development of PD specific risk models.